Elevate Your Email Program with Marketing Automation

Use high-impact email marketing tactics

Deliver immediate results and impact most stages of the sales funnel.

In this white paper we will share:

  • Marketing automation
  • Lead nurturing
  • List building
  • Repurposing content
  • Dynamic content
  • Email performance metrics

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Here is a preview of the white paper

7 Effective Ways to Elevate Your Email Marketing Program

Over 60 percent of marketers say that email marketing produces ROI for their organization, demonstrating the continued value of this mature digital channel and this is especially true for B2B marketers according to Marketing Sherpa. By 2017 an estimated 206 billion e-mails will be sent every day to 4.9 billion e-mail accounts.
Well executed email provides a highly cost-effective way of targeting both your prospects and established customers with specific, relevant messages they may find useful, entertaining or valuable. Email marketing can be automated and scaled quickly, deliver immediate results and impact most stages of the sales funnel. In terms of demand
generation, email can help leads that enter at the top of the funnel move through the funnel further.

Email also helps current customers re-enter the sales funnel and become prospects once again. Email is an effective way marketing teams both large and small can make a big impact on traffic, conversions and performance.

In a Forbes survey, 64 percent of marketers list increasing email open rates and click-throughs as their top priorities this year. 67 percent of marketers say that email is valuable for attracting and engaging prospects and an effective path to increase marketing ROI. There are seven key components of an efficient and effective email marketing program:

1. Marketing automation
2. Lead nurturing
3. Repurposing content
4. Dynamic content
5. List building
6. Email testing
7. Email performance metrics

Email Marketing–High-Impact Tactics
1. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a system of automatic delivery of programmed email marketing messages that, once set up, requires little human involvement to manage.
It is especially useful for relatively long consumer or business sales cycles, where the buyer needs to collect and process information. Some examples would be
consumer research for a car purchase or business research into security systems for buildings.

In the world of marketing, there is no shortage of new technologies that can make something easier and better to do. A few years ago, email evolved significantly by adding marketing automation functionality, which repositioned email from spam and labor-intensive newsletters to an organized, systematic communication and business asset.
Marketing automation software platforms can do what both personnel-based and programmed systems used to do. They can send mass emails without human intervention; people do not to actually hit the send button. This advancement enabled logical one-to-one marketing where each lead could experience the content sequence asynchronously.

The prospect of marketing automation can be daunting to some when new SaaS systems have to be learned. It can prove time consuming up front to create a working system. Taking small steps and setting a goal of one new automated email marketing program, nurture campaign, or email blast to learn and deploy per period is a good way to start as well as to build an inventory of automated email series.

Depending on the email system, you can not only automate emails based on triggers, but you can also house the forms needed to capture information, create landing pages and integrate paid search assets and website assets. Some platforms are integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) and data systems and can be integrated further through an application programming interface (API). Marketing automation works when you program to deliver content valuable to the reader and works best when you deliver content that is logically appropriate for where they are on the customer journey or sales cycle.

2. Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is another concept in email marketing that seems to elude most marketers. Everyone in the sales and marketing organization wants to work on leads at a time when those efforts will be fruitful.

In theory, lead nurturing means that you feed your leads with content via email, encouraging them to engage, and supporting them with personalized
communications during their funnel migration towards conversion.

The goal of email nurturing is to warm up leads that may have given you their information but aren’t quite ready for a sales dialogue. Start light, be interesting and give the customer the ability to advance the conversation.

As a marketer who knows your brand and industry thoroughly, take yourself out of the equation for a moment and visualize it from the consumer’s side: what would make you open and click on an email from a company you know little about?

Companies that implement dynamic lead scoring have a 192% higher
average lead qualification rate than other companies.”
— Aberdeen Research

You’d likely unsubscribe from an email that was just trying to sell you something, right? What you’d likely want to know as a consumer is how well this company knows the industry product or service they are trying to sell and what kind of authoritative information they are willing to share with you.

You also don’t want to bombard people with dense content at the start. Try an article authored by your CEO, a recent blog post about a hot industry topic or a short 60-second clip of video. Keep it simple, small, digestible, and non-sales oriented in the beginning of the nurture program.

As the program matures and the leads become more engaged, the content of the emails can become heavier. You might then try a longer video, research paper, and even include a call to action (CTA) for them to see a demo of your product or service.

All of this will warm them up for a conversation with a sales rep when they are ready to buy. Until then, you are establishing your credibility and developing a rapport with your leads.

Now that we’ve established what email lead nurturing is, it’s time for the how-to. Don’t let the big idea of nurture overwhelm you. When first deploying an email nurture program, it’s okay to start small.

Initially map out the cadence of your program.
• Think about the timing: when are your prospects most likely to react to emails?
• Look at your sales cycle: do your emails need to be once a week, twice a week or once a month?
• Match the timing of your emails to the speed of your sales cycle.

If it’s relatively fast and prospects make decisions quickly, then your email cadence might be biweekly. If it takes your customer a year to buy your product or service, then you may want to consider communicating once per month or every other week.

Before getting much further into what will be in the email series, think about who you will be targeting: pick a market segment or customer persona. Perhaps consider testing a segment to prove to management that email lead nurturing really works. Build your email list first, then develop the content.

After you’ve established the timing of your emails, you’ll want to determine what offer to include in each, appropriate to the targeted market segment or customer persona. Maybe it’s simply a short video with some interesting stats. Maybe it’s an infographic or useful blog post. To start, it doesn’t have to be a series full of multimedia

For example, you could start with one white paper, one series of blog posts, or a video series. Whatever the initial strategy may be, it’s important to break up content types into readily digestible pieces so that each provides value but is not so big that no one has time to consume it.

3. List Building
List building is yet another essential part of efficient and effective email marketing. Before building your campaign or email series, think about your targeted recipients and the market segment they represent.

Then, be sure to involve all stakeholders, accounting for prospects, customers, and internal sales teams so there is no confusion or redundant email marketing efforts. For example, if you are going to send an email to customers, make sure your client-facing team is involved, from sales to client services to product and product marketing. Alert them that you will be sending an email to a particular list, and share both the message content and CTA with them so they are aware of the outreach to their contacts.

In terms of what will help you build that list, trust your customer relationship management (CRM) solution or marketing automation system. As far as marketing personnel, involve only key stakeholders in order to minimize confusion and the noise of too many voices that will only delay time-sensitive email marketing messages.

4. Repurposing Content
Content repurposing is a smart strategy for getting extra mileage out of any content asset, such as white papers, videos, presentations and case studies. By “slicing and dicing” larger content material into smaller chunks of digestible information, you can then use it for an email marketing campaign. Similarly, you can repurpose it to suit other forms of media. To extend the life of the white paper, for example, you could break it out into five interesting factoids, perhaps in infographic form or a multimedia mix and send those as emails: you now have a full nurture campaign of “snackable” content.

The same thing goes for a 60-minute video. In today’s fast-paced world, you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and even then, you have to convey what they want to hear in about 30 seconds. Knowing this, take the 60-minute video and chop it topically into clips of useful information that can be consumed in under a minute.

Do you have testimonials or presentations from a conference your brand participated in? Make those into interesting case studies to share. This is just another way repurpose that chunky content for your email nurture campaigns. Whether you have piles of content stored up or just a whitepaper, there is always a way to transform it. Take what
you have, multiply it, divide it and put it all to use in your email marketing campaign.

5. Dynamic Content
This term is also fairly new to email and gained wider adoption as part of marketing automation. Dynamic content allows for more customization in email, so the prospect or customer feels like they are getting a personalized message from a brand.

With dynamic content, you can make sure the communication comes from the account executive or client service representative. You can also provide a certain offer or CTA based on sales stage, location and other demographic data, or user behavior.

The message you are sending now becomes personalized, targeted and will likely deliver better engagement.

6. Email Testing
It’s a common digital marketing practice to test keywords, ad copy, banner ads and landing pages, etc. But testing email is a relatively new concept. Today, email is a targeted marketing channel that can and should to be tested for optimization like any other channel. So test everything. Start simple with subject line testing.

See which version generates a higher open rate. Then, take the winner and test it against another subject line. The experimenting doesn’t have to stop there: test two offers or CTAs, including colors and placement of the CTA buttons. Most marketing automation systems have simple A/B test settings where you can randomly split your
list to run the test. Eventually, when testing becomes routine, what you test will become more intricate and turn into multivariate tests where you look at multiple elements.

Testing with email can go beyond just the A/B or multivariate testing, too. Do you have an idea for a nurture drip campaign? Try it out on a small subset of people and see if it sticks. If it does, expand it to a broader audience and continue to grow the campaign, running scheduled tests and making changes informed by testing insights to
improve the campaign along the way.

7. Email Performance Metrics
When evaluating your email marketing campaign, there are five essential key performance indicators (KPIs) to
1. Deliverability rate
2. Open rate
3. Click rate
4. Conversion rate
5. Unsubscribe rate

According to the Direct Marketing Association and other industry reports:
• Deliverability rate should be more than 90 percent
• Click rates should be in the 2 percent to 8 percent range
• Conversion rates should be in the 1 percent to 4 percent range
• As a rule of thumb, the click rate should be higher than the unsubscribe rate for a fresh and current list
These measures together indicate your email campaign’s total conversions. Here’s a simple calculation to
• For example, a 20 percent open rate multiplied by a 4 percent click rate multiplied by a 1.9 conversion
rate = .015 percent net yield. Dividing 1 by .00015 (1/.00015) means 1 in 6,667 on your list will
• If the list has 340,000 names, dividing that by 6,667 = 51 projected conversions
Understanding these fundamental metrics allows you to back-calculate the potential yield of your email list, plan
your email cadence and forecast your business targets and revenue goals.
Map the trends of your email metrics over time. Following are a few examples of what trends could mean to your
email marketing success:
• If the deliverability rates erode, your source of leads may be degrading, or your content may be using
too many trigger words and excess punctuation used by true spammers, sending your email to spam
folders. In this case, you’ll want to adjust your email subject lines and content accordingly.
• If the open rates are going down, try decreasing the frequency of your emails or work on more
compelling subject lines.
• If the click rates are suffering, work on your offer and CTA. If your conversions are weak, the list might
be saturated with that offer and fatigued, so you’ll need to consider changing up the offer or adding
new leads to the list.

Make Email Marketing a Profitable Channel for Your Brand
Email marketing can do big things; it’s no longer just a spam cannon. BrightEdge has been steadily ramping up its email program to support marketing demand generation, events and other business functions. Targeting various segments with appropriate messages at the right time is critical. Marketing automation, lead scoring, assigning weights and values to leads based on criteria and actions taken and email nurture make this possible.

Scaling your email programs can spread awareness, increase frequent communication, build relationships, and deliver business results. Because of the power of automation and scalability, there is little downside to enhancing email communications and marketing automation.

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